Geo Back in Action at Fitch Park
On an injury rehab assignment in Mesa, AZ, Cubs catcher Geovany Soto went hitless in five plate appearances this morning in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played at Fitch Park.
Soto, who was seeing his first game action in two weeks after suffering a groin strain in a game on May 10th, was the starting catcher and got five at bats in the game played on Field #2 (there was another game played simultaneously on Field #3), batting third in each of the first five innings. He looked a bit rusty at the plate, bouncing out 5-3 in the 1st inning, popping out to the first-baseman in foul territory in the 2nd, flying out to the warning track in CF in the 3rd, getting called out on strikes in the 4th, and striking out swinging in the bottom of the 5th. Also two Rockies base-runners stole 2nd base while Soto was behind the plate.
As far as the games were concerned, one squad of EXST Cubs and one squad of EXST Rockies played to a 1-1 tie on Field #2, while the other squad of Rockies defeated the other squad of Cubs 5-2 on Field #3.
The games were played simultaneously on adjacent fields, and both games were seven-inning affairs.
Here are the abridged box scores from today’s games (Cubs players only)
NOTE: Geovany Soto batted third in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings.
SQUAD “A” LINEUP:
X. Geovany Soto, C: 0-5 (5-3, P-3, F-8, K, K)
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, CF: 1-3 (K, 3B, K, R)
2. Gregori Gonzalez, 2B: 1-3 (F-7, 1B, P-3, RBI)
3a. Jesus Morelli, DH: 0-2 (4-3, 4-3)
3b. Yaniel Cabezas, C: 0-1 (F-9)
4. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
5. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
6. Wes Darvill, SS: 0-2 (K, 4-6 FC)
7. Max Kwan, 1B: 0-2 (F-8, F-9)
8. Blair Springfield, LF: 0-2 (K, P-4)
SQUAD “A” PITCHERS:
1. Willengton Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 60 pitches (41 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Rafael Diplan: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 23 pitches (16 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Larry Suarez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “A” ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Gregori Gonzalez - E4 (missed catch allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely on what should have been a 5-4 FC)
SQUAD “A” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Geovany Soto: 0-2 CS
2. Yaniel Cabezas: 1-1 CS
SQUAD “B” LINEUP:
1. Vismeldy Bieneme, CF: 1-3 (3B, 4-3, K, R)
2. Marco Hernandez, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 3-U, 4-3)
3. Brian Inoa, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, L-3)
5. Rafael Valdes, SS: 0-3 (K, 5-3, 1-3)
6. Eduardo Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (5-3, 4-3, 5-3)
7. Dustin Geiger, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, 5-3)
9. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 1-2 (1B, E-6, R, SB)
10. Carlos Romero, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
SQUAD “B” PITCHERS:
1. Joe Zeller: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 65 pitches (43 strikes), 3/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 29 pitches (18 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
3. Manolin DeLeon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 19 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
SQUAD “B” ERRORS: 1
3B Brandon May - E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
SQUAD “B” CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Brian Inoa: 1-2 CS, 2 PB
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s
Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]
ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.
cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/
HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC.
ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels.
M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores) the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating.
E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.
Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).
PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.
AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.
Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!
Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.
With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.
it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.
It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.
Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.
That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.
I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.
Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...
These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.
No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.
a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...
it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...
Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.
Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.